Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome (Collector’s Edition)

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Playing on the concept of Oscar Wilde’s characterization and background of the becoming and downfall of Dorian Gray in his famous book, the game surrounded itself on a murder mystery plot. Actually, it was more like a psycho-maniac’s trap. The main character of the story, Sam Wilde, was a reporter who just happened to get caught up in a madman’s web of craziness. After having written a successful article surrounding the mass murders of various youths around town, Sam’s girlfriend, Anna Reid, was kidnapped by none other than the aforementioned murderer. Sam had to meet the madman at his house and tried to rescue Anna. Upon arrival, Sam took the backdoor, thinking he could have a little leverage over the madman. However, a voice recorder rolled into the room as Sam entered the house and he realized the madman had predicted his every move. From there on, Sam was forced to play the old-fashioned game of ‘hide-and-seek’ with the man, in an attempt to locate his beloved girlfriend and rescue her. During his quest and many trips around the house, trying to unearth the clues and solve different puzzles, he discovered the madman had killed and embalmed many people within the house. Even at one time, he overheard a group of people being murdered, and that he helplessly listened next door because he was locked inside. Along the way, he also learned the madman’s name was Oscar and Oscar had a traumatizing childhood hence influencing his perspectives later in life. Yet Sam reminded himself it wasn’t a good excuse for Oscar to take it out on the rest of the world. However, by the end of the story, Oscar had revealed that those ripped pages from his diary were just planted by him to deceive Sam as part of the game. As Oscar laughed and wanted to celebrate his coming victory because of his next supposedly ‘perfect’ project of being able to embalm two people at the same time (Sam and Anna), he was struck down and the couple managed to escape from the nightmare place. What happened next was the local news covering the incident and the discovery of the bodies in the house as Sam and Anna were watching the news safely in their home. The story was far from a happy ending because soon the scene zoomed to Oscar waking up from the fall, hurt but not dead.

The bonus chapter continued several months later with Sam receiving a phone call from his boss, telling him to follow a certain lead. The lead led Sam to an amusement park. It wasn’t until he was inside that he realized it was a trap from Oscar. Oscar was indeed back, building another “fun house.” Yet he didn’t want to complicate matters or waste time like their last meeting. There were no more bodies to discover and there was no Anna to make Sam worry tenfold more. It was a final showdown between the men. Sam’s goal this time was getting out alive because Oscar had electrified the fences so getting out the normal way was impossible. The only way Sam could get out was to shut down the main circuit. Yet that was the least of his worries by the time he achieved his goal. Because the final trap for Sam wasn’t his own death, but Oscar’s. Oscar had embalmed himself and committed suicide. Before Sam shut off the main circuit, Oscar had called the police, so when the police finally arrived, they had concluded that Sam was responsible and was also pinned for murdering and embalming the past victims in that one house–just like how Oscar had predicted before his death. Oscar’s ultimate revenge on Sam was making Sam suffer through a crime he didn’t commit. The bonus chapter ended with the newspaper reporting of Sam’s doing.

Thoughts? Awesome game. Not for the weak mind if you’re easily creeped out by bodies suddenly popping into your vision line. But it is not too graphic like some other games out there with all the gore, just disturbing because of the psycho-maniac that Oscar was. The game included hidden objects and puzzles, along with combining different items to get the machines to work, etc. The graphic was really nice and real. The map helps a lot! So use it when you’re stuck. Sometimes click on the “hint” so it tells you if you need to do something at a location or not. There’s a sequel. SO, don’t be too frustrated with it. Well, I haven’t played it yet, but I will update once I get a chance to see if the story continues or not.

Regarding the story setup though, the character Oscar was as crazy as the Dorian Gray dude with the whole mask and fear of aging, blaming the world for what happened to him and not wanting to take responsibilities. The funniest thing was after you learned the guy’s name was Oscar, you thought right away of Sam’s last name and you get the author’s name for The Picture of Dorian Gray, lol. Aside from that, not bad at all with the story. It just gives you chills at times if you think of someone like that Oscar character.

The Outsiders: Influences

(image credit: net)

I finally watch it properly now so I decided to bring some discussions back regarding this. Over and over again, this drama addressed the whole influences of the ‘bad’ toward the ‘good’ and vice versa. I have to say that it gave me more ground to discuss after having read The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Those who are actually reading are wondering why and how could the two mixes when they are so different in the plot. It’s actually the same concept of being influenced by others. The answer we all know–though Oscar Wilde let us ponder for ourselves more or less–after reading The Portrait of Dorian Gray is that it is not anyone’s fault in making choices or taking different actions but ourselves. Going back to The Outsiders, I found it more and more ridiculous that Yu Hao, Dan Zi, and Ah Qi were blamed for Xiao Yan Zi’s actions. It was partially because of love that Xiao Yan Zi chose to elope. It did not make her choice right or wrong. (I am not debating about that since it would be up to each one of us to think.) What I want to say is Xiao Yan Zi was not influenced to change her actions and/or behaviors even if she did not meet Yu Hao and his friends. We could see from her actions that she was capable of thinking of different techniques to sneak out of the house or make excuses when she was home late. There was also the whole sending messages to Yu Hao while she was restricted of her rights by her parents. She knew of those techniques all along but did not care to use it until when she was left with no options. It did not matter who she met, but she knew those techniques. To blame Yu Hao and the other two guys were totally ridiculous. Was that an attempt to escape from responsibilities or what one could not explain oneself? Like Xiao Yan Zi’s parents could not say that they were at fault or how they could not understand so they chose to disregard all possible reasoning from Yu Hao and the others, seeking for ways to blame them instead of caring to acknowledge what was true of their daughter. (I am not trying to shift the blame toward Xiao Yan Zi here, but I am just stating what she had knowledge of and she chose to do those things too, so she and Yu Hao contributed 50/50 for what happened, NOT just Yu Hao doing the whole influencing.)

What was extremely amusing yet ridiculous (and probably still happening everywhere) was the idea of how people relied heavily on one’s reputation or impression on the surface to judge others in here. Xiao Yan Zi’s father criticized Hong Dou for being a bad girl since she was yelling loudly in the street, projecting an image of an indecent person. Yu Hao, Dan Zi, and Ah Qi were often caught in fights or others yet no one knew the real story behind them helping old women from being bullied. Other cases were how they were relying on themselves mostly for their survival. Only the police officer who was in charge of Yu Hao and vouching for him knew and understood the circumstances that Yu Hao and his friends went through. No one stopped to understand if Yu Hao had a better environment to grow up in, would he choose such a life?

The most amusing thing was seeing how the so-called ‘good’ students at school were using their reputation to hurt others. The guy who had a crush on Xiao Yan Zi at the beginning was a sore loser and used his reputation to frame Yu Hao. The most despicable thing about it was the president actually believed him. It was like that. The guy could act the role of a good kid so he was able to get away with those things. It did not matter if Yu Hao was innocent. Just because some ‘good’ kid said it. The hypocritical behaviors caused Xiao Yan Zi to question the higher authority even more. It was like one of those “Do as I say and not as I do” circumstances. Talking about the president of the school made it even more stupid. He was part of the education system yet failed to care about his students, especially how he was biased toward one group. It made sense for Xiao Yan Zi’s parents to protect their daughter from outsiders, BUT it did not make sense at all to me when someone from the education system turned his head away from a student who needed guidance. Even if Yu Hao was stubborn and had his own ways of dealing with things but I thought it was the job of the educators to understand the problems of it all and guided him back onto the right track, encouraging him to do good in classes. But what the president did was just wanting to cut off the bad part of an apple and dispose of it, only looking after himself and his reputation. It was like saying society could turn away from others, ignoring the problems completely. YET they are the same people who complain about the world becoming a worse place. (Duh, because they never cared to contribute and fix the problems when they had a chance.)

What was more interesting upon confronting Yu Hao and Xiao Yan Zi was the whole ‘good for you matter’ regarding the parents’ decision. (Most of the time it’s true.) I somewhat agree with Xiao Yan Zi with how her parents were trying to pave her way and lived her life for her. Sometimes I often wonder about those things and I don’t doubt that parents love their children (in most cases), but what got me thinking is the whole thing about parents who were not able to lead the same path or do it correctly or perfectly (as to how they see things) when they were living their lives so they wanted to re-do it again with their children. It was like IF they could perfect the method with their children, then they could somehow feel that they’ve succeeded in fulfilling their wishes that they could not live through the first time around.

With all these rants, someone might be wondering why I say that everyone is responsible for his or her actions YET I did not hold Yu Hao, Dan Zi, and Ah Qi responsible for their actions? The same thing I discussed previously regarding society turning their head away from them since they were young. It happened just like that. How could they walk on the right path when they were always being pushed away? No one wanted to let them in. Only the officer who often looked after Yu Hao cared enough to scold at the guys but one person could not change the mass attacks of others. I could use all the excuses to make up for them, but I honestly think that the briefest and straight to the point explanation is the guys are extremely UNLUCKY.

*Notice, I used character names to emphasize that I was debating about the characters involved and not because I was siding with just my favorite stars/pairings. I am not trying to influence anyone or start any arguments. But was just bringing up some points while I was watching.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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As much as The Importance of Being Earnest was witty and humorous in its sarcasm, The Picture of Dorian Gray was indescribably to the point of madness and chilling to its fullest effects. Oscar Wilde sure brought out the most frightening scenes of a person with such vivid details and its many underlying meanings. The sarcasm was dripping as ever was in most of his works yet this was totally different in its own right. As much as The Importance of Being Earnest mocked society in many ways with its humorous story, this one captured the dark side of a person and the society behind him. The book was addicting to read–to say the least. The way it was written and the beliefs–or the struggles between the two extremes of believing and not believing–had made it a thoughtful read yet still left many ponders after reading.

So who was actually at fault for having driven Dorian Gray to such extremes? Was it liked many characters in here, including Basil Hallward, had said that Lord Henry was responsible for influencing Dorian? Or was it like Dorian Gray had said, it was none other than the painter of the portrait? My thoughts? Dorian Gray was very much capable of his own thoughts and actions so why should he hold others responsible for his life and the outcomes of it? So what if Lord Henry was throwing thoughts around and spoken with such an air that could easily influence others? Some of their other friends merely took it as a joke at dinnertime or took it as a fascination of Lord Henry’s personality for further exploration. (So what about that book that Dorian Gray said had poisoned him? He chose to follow its path and carried out the actions himself.) Dorian Gray was nothing more than someone who wanted to reach a hand out to experience the many dark sides of the society yet did not have the will to take full responsibility for his actions, therefore, he sought to blame others for influencing him.

The last scene was so brilliantly done. Not that the previous events leading to the consequence weren’t. But what made it tie in with the whole thing made it even more clever all the while. I honestly yelled out, “Idiot!” upon reading the last part when Dorian Gray was so convinced in destroying the last piece of evidence. He was so obsessed and engrossed in getting rid of his past that he had failed to see the most obvious sign. If he was stating that he was getting rid of his ‘monstrous soul’ then of course he was destroying himself in the process. It was clever to the dot yet chilling with the effects. What made the ending even more chilling was the whole idea of how the servants found Dorian Gray on the floor, aging while the portrait was restored to its original. It was liked how he had vowed at first, exchanging places with the portrait. Yet he had stabbed his own soul and killing himself, a portrait was a portrait after all hence returning to its original state.

A recommended book if you like really dark ones and/or have loved Oscar Wilde’s other works.